A Fresh Dille

sibling bowls.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on February 26, 2011

After a crazy last few days of 4 a.m. wake up times and boring morning eats, I ventured into the kitchen this morning with two things on my mind. First, I heated filtered water for a few minutes and sliced a freshly picked lemon from the tree aside my apartment window. As I squeezed in the lemon juice and then sipped the warm glass of lemon water, I was reminded of how simple it is to feel a sense of balance in the morning. The routine of making slow cooked steel-cut oats came next, and I didn’t even have to ask my still visiting sister if she was also craving a bowl.

Since V went rather overboard on the amount of berries he purchased on Sunday, I eagerly poured a few more than usual on both our bowls. The usual mix of steel-cut oats was slow cooked with banana, chia seeds, nut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Lily’s was topped with a few vegan chocolate chips.

I went with a small spoonful of raw almond butter. It was grand.

The rain hasn’t really stopped in LA, and part of me is happy to have an excuse to stay in and be all sorts of lazy. I read words from the new-to-me site, The Well Daily, my lovely friend Danielle’s place of work and enjoyment. Each post left me feeling wonderful, and I was especially intrigued by the Ayurvedic Body Scrub idea. Creating homemade beauty products, with far less ingredients than store-bought, is something I’ve often wanted to try. Eventually I will get around to it. Ayurveda has always fascinated me, so I went on to take the linked quiz in order to find my Dosha. Although a few of the questions were difficult, making me feel as though I may be more than one option, I answered to the best of my ability. In the end I learned I was primarily a Vata Dosha, and therefore should eat mostly warm nourishing foods like hearty oats for breakfast. That seemed about right. Other things that balance Vata’s are nuts (nut milk and nut butter too), pureed soups, and cooked vegetables like beets, carrots, asparagus, and sweet potatoes. The expansive food list isn’t something I would necessarily follow, considering that I also have some Pitta qualities. Eating by the Vata Dosha would also mean limiting all raw vegetables and adding dairy to my diet, two things I don’t see myself doing anytime soon. Still, I do agree with many aspects that make me a Vata-Pitta Dosha, and am willing to start adding more Ayurvedic practices like yoga, meditation, routine meal times, hiking, and afternoon tea. As usual, the Ayurvedic cookbooks and recipes interest me most, and I’ve already found some tasty looking ones to try.

Ironically, my lunch was already planned for, and well, differed quite a bit from the Ayurvedic recipes I was reading most of the morning hours.

Lynn had mentioned that Chipotle was having a two for one offer and my sister and I were in the mood for two more bowls of delicious afternoon fuel. Chipotle may be considered fast food, but at least they do it with integrity. The salad bowls covered with fajita veggies, black beans, salsa, and guacamole are soul and belly-satisfying. Oh, and the chips, with a hint of lime and perfectly salted really make the meal complete. The two salad bowls and chips were just under $10, only a $5 a piece. That is what I am talking about.

Yum. I finished every last bite.

The end of the day warming meal was a shared roasted sweet potato (425 degrees for just under an hour), lentil soup, coconut roasted parsnips, and brussels sprouts.

You know dark chocolate was involved too.

– Have you ever read about Ayurveda and even found your Dosha? Did you agree with your Dosha balancing foods?

– Do you Chipotle? Of course it isn’t my food place of choice, but it doesn’t hurt to eat a veggie filled bowl with healthy fats and salty crunchy chips. It was amazingly satisfying.

Happy Weekend!

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pancakes for one. oats for two.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on February 20, 2011

Ever since starting a commercial at the beginning of last week, I’ve been craving bowls of warm steel-cut oats. Waking up at 5 a.m. just doesn’t give me adequate time to prepare a quality bowl. Instead I’ve been eating packed overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond or coconut milk, chia seeds, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and all the berries I can find in my fridge. After the initial craziness that takes place as soon as I arrive on set, I take a few minutes to eat my cold breakfast while the steamer heats up to prep the wardrobe for the day. Eating breakfast before 7 a.m. always makes me hungry  for lunch very early, as it should. I grab fruit, nuts, and all the bars in my snack drawer for days like these. By the time lunch rolls around (1-2 p.m.), I feel like I’ve eaten quite a lot for the day already. Of course that doesn’t stop me from making the caterer’s scratch their heads when I ask for anything vegan from the three entrée options of fish, poultry, and red meat. Usually this means I receive a plate full of the rice (or other grain) and whatever  side veggies they can find prepared without butter. I’m difficult, but that is their job. Commercials, with a much smaller crew, have less choice, but the quality is usually better than when they are feeding an entire film crew. This week I had a delicious meal of brown rice and beans topped with grilled asparagus, and a spinach, beet, and walnut salad on the side. It was one of the best catered meals I have had to date. There are also the days where I am off doing errands (returning wardrobe, picking up alterations, etc.) where I miss lunch entirely. These are the days I actually prefer, because I get to go off and find my own lunch from places I enjoy in LA. The best meals I’ve had while working were Native Foods and M Cafe. These are easily two of my favorite veggie places in Los Angeles. I can’t get enough.

As soon as the weekend hit, I knew oats would be on the menu. I still wanted to make pancakes for V since he prefers them over oats, but my sister chimed in that she also craved a bowl of oats after being without them all week. For the pancakes, I used my go-to recipe from Angela, the spelt pancakes. V has a pretty hearty appetite on the weekend mornings, so I doubled the recipe. He ate every last bite.

They were filled with bananas and walnuts and he poured delicious maple syrup on top.

Lily and I ate comforting steel-cut banana oats with almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla in my new small Anthropologie Lotus bowls.

We poured California organic berries on top and I sliced up some raw walnuts from the farmer’s market for satiety. I really shouldn’t go that long between warm oats consumption, it was a little bit of torture.

For the long weekend I am going to relax and enjoy the California sunshine by hitting up the flea market and reading in a nearby park today. There may be some vegan baking involved too.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

– Do you ever feel deprived of warm oats, even when the weather isn’t chilly?

-What is your favorite long weekend activity?

twice the pumpkin, twice the fun

Posted in FOOD, SHOPPING, VEGAN by clairedille on November 11, 2010

Pumpkin is one way I’ve been reminding myself it is fall since being in LA.

Yesterday, I couldn’t resist a little dark chocolate, since I was still without my nut butter of choice, almond butter. The chocolate did top a little peanut butter though. I needed my nuts in some way or another.

I also drank some delicious Fair Trade coffee out of the Peerless Coffee mug V got me while visiting his family in the San Francisco. That was about as close to San Francisco I got for the Foodbuzz Festival. I may have needed some cheering up and energy. Afterwards I realized I have been coffee-less since the road trip. I guess I just don’t need it when not working or driving cross-country. Still, my body isn’t full adjusted to Pacific Time yet and I have a hard time waking up past 6. Of course V’s early call times might have something to do with it. We tend to fall asleep just after 10 o’clock most week nights…

I yoga’d a little before getting to business or as close to as it I’ve come these last few weeks. Waiting for things to happen is certainly nerve-wrecking , but I had the perfect afternoon lunch planned to distract myself a little…

with the lovely Lynn of The Actor’s Diet. For lunch, she picked out Sante La Brea, a cute and rustic place with a relaxing vibe and lots of vegan fare. The menu really catered anyone, and this is something I am already really appreciating about LA restaurants.

Although breakfast served all day was appealing (I’ll be sure to return for the organic vegan cornmeal pancakes with blueberries and banana), we both craved a sandwich. Whenever a sandwich is served panini style, I am all for it. I’ve been wanting a panini press for much too long so I had to get my fix somehow. We both went with the BLT with tempeh bacon and avocado. Yes, I’ve been eating these at home. Yes, I am still loving them.

Don’t get me wrong, this was good, just not the best BLTA I’ve ever had.

me, courtesy of Lynn and her wrap-up post.

The half sandwich, half salad combo was ideal though, because I really am a sucker for vegan desserts.

I’m not your typical cake lover, but when I saw the Jack-o-lantern cake on the menu (and waiter recommended), I was down. Pumpkin twice in one day is a little too heavenly to pass up. Pumpkin frosting, enough said. When the cake came, Lynn split it down the middle and we shared this beauty. The cake wasn’t exactly fluffy and I read the menu again realizing olive oil was the fat of choice in the cake part. The best layers were the two dark gingerbread-types spiced with allspice and nutmeg. It really hit the spot.

It was such a wonderful lunch with a new foodie LA friend. I also came home with a goodie bag I will share later! Check out her post for more photos of Sante La Brea. Oh, and a few words about vegan food satiety; I was full for so long, that I had to force myself to eat the veggie sushi I picked up from Whole Foods for dinner. It must have been the cake…

After parting ways, I ventured over to the LA outpost of one of my favorite NYC stores, Opening Ceremony. It was dangerous really. I fell in love with the Sunday’s Best rings, and many shoes and bags I can’t quite afford. I torture myself so. I will be doing some more today with a best friend who moved out here 6 months before I.  Therefore, I must go and fuel myself for some LA adventures. Hopefully I can convince her to go to one of the restaurants/cafes on my LA vegan-friendly restaurant list. I promise I will share a more complete one soon.

Other things:

-Are you a cake person? Do you prefer fluffy cakes or heartier desserts?

-Do you let yourself window-shop? Do you find it much too torturous? Who am I kidding, I definitely try things on sometimes too…

yogi eats

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORKOUTS by clairedille on November 10, 2010

You know you are staying at a bachelor pad when…

The only spices/seasonings in the cabinets are salt and pepper.

The only pan for baking is a pizza pan.

The kitchen drawers are filled with wires/cords, pens, paper, and take-out menus.

The only thing in the freezer is a frozen pizza.

There are no kitchen towels or oven mitts.

The spoons are the size of serving spoons.

There are no measuring cups or spoons, but plenty of bottle openers and shot glasses.

All the cookbooks have a note from who it was given from on the first page.

There is no olive oil, vinegar, or other stapes, but there is vodka.

With the lack of what I would call kitchen essentials, I am sticking to quite simple meals these days. There are a few things I’ve picked up, but because we are aren’t in our own place yet, I am waiting for our real move to stock up. Around the holidays, it seems like we will finally be able to pack up all of our apartment goods, to ship west.

Of course there were three things I picked up for my morning steel-cut oats: himalayan pink sea salt, organic vanilla, and organic cinnamon.

The fourth addition…organic canned pumpkin (just one can, I swear).

I don’t know how I remembered to drive west with my chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and the Newman’s Own Organic Berry Blend dried fruit, but not the cinnamon and vanilla.

These strawberry oats were my first attempt without the two, and that morning, I decided that I just couldn’t last these two months without them.

Oh, I have been without my favorite raw almond butter, keeping to peanut butter on my morning bowl. It just isn’t the same. I will probably cave soon.

Ironically, I bought a bunch of these art deco iced tea spoons in Amarillo, TX during the road trip. I love how long iced tea spoons are, they remind me of sundae’s. I don’t think I ever actually used an iced tea-spoon for tea, but they are the perfect spoon size. It is funny to see which spoons V and I choose for soup dinners. I always reach for the smallest so that I can’t savor the flavors longer, and he opts for the largest so that he can get the most in at once.

I don’t know what it is about the California air, but I’ve been all about the hiking and yoga. I admit, part of the reason I started hiking was because it was the only place I could get cell service in Topanga, but the other is the peaceful feeling I have above the city. I can see the ocean and the skyscrapers in opposite directions. The first few hikes left me pretty sore considering they were seriously steep inclines, but I’ve been sure to do at least 20 minutes of yoga a day to stretch out my legs. Rodney Yee’s Ultimate Power Yoga is a great workout. I’ve worked my way up to doing four of the five twenty-minute segments at once. My friend who is out-of-town (and letting us stay here) has the Yoga Burn, which I have yet to try, but am excited for. Although I am missing running dearly, I can tell my knee is not yet healed. Our location in Topanga Canyon makes it almost impossible for me to attempt a run. The first few 4 miles would be all hills and therefore painful, so I am almost grateful that we are this deep in Topanga. The plan is to drive to the water and park along the beach when I feel ready to run again. I can’t wait to run along the coast, it is one of my favorite places to run, with a nice cool breeze and the sound of crashing waves.

For now, I am eating my California Veggie Sandwiches on my Yoga Mat. Okay, not really, but I loved the green on green action. This was a sprouted wheat bagel filled with tofutti cream cheese (without the partially hydrogenated oil), cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and cherry tomatoes.

Yesterday’s was even better with my favorite vegenaise instead of the “cream cheese” and tempeh bacon, a California style BLTA of sorts.

I’ve gone out for Indian and Chipotle (with wardrobe friends and bosses) but haven’t been inspired yet to travel with my camera, especially when meeting a director I may potentially work with. All in all, things are pretty good over here, minus the fact that I missed the Foodbuzz festival over the weekend for work prospects. Sometimes we all need a little reality reminder.

How upsetting is this early darkness caused by Day Light’s Saving…it really is a buzz kill for food photography in the evening. But I wanted to show you an example of the simple dinners I’ve been eating. I used to love eating Macro bowls at Souen when living in NY, and this is a re-creation of sorts. I don’t eat macrobiotic meals that often, but when I do, I feel wonderful after eating them. LA seems to have many macro restaurants as well. Most of them are vegetarian friendly restaurants on my growing LA restaurant list.

-Have you ever tried Macrobiotics? At a restaurant? Cooking yourself? How did it make you feel?

-What is your favorite veggie sandwich combo?

-Do you have any recipes with minimal spices? I am thinking of buying a few for the next month but have such a hard time choosing. So far I am leaning towards curry powder and cayenne. I also love roasting veggies with rosemary and thyme.

since being in California…

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORKOUTS by clairedille on November 5, 2010

Twice…

I’ve hiked behind our temporary Topanga Canyon home (also happens to be where I get cell service),

I’ve had mexican from the only mexican restaurant in topanga canyon,

I’ve eaten sushi from the overpriced local organic grocer (at least the sushi was cheap),

I’ve sweated out toxins at Yoga Desa

and followed the class with “The Best Veggie Burger Ever” from Waterlily cafe (the chipotle vegenaise sauce…died).

Not once,

Have I gone for a run. I am still treating myself well and every day I have to tell myself this.

After all, it is pretty refreshing to wake up and look out the window to this.

I’ve never heard this much wildlife in my life. Each morning, I hear an incredible amount of birds, squirrels dropping nuts on the roof, and then scurrying into the trees.

I hike up to the top of the mountains and it is just me and the lizards, birds, and bugs. After being pent-up in our Detroit Loft when not working this past year, I heard no wildlife, just the sound of the slow-moving train. My body is still on east coast time so I have no problem waking up with the rest of the living creatures in Topanga Canyon. Each day, I’ve been sitting on the porch with my morning bowl of steel-cut oats (still searching for raw sprouted buckwheat). I am sure things will soon start to get hectic, but for now, I am soaking it all in.

Of course, it is now 9:30pm and I feel like it is past midnight. Instead of curling up in bed, I’m heading out for my third night of Topanga Mexican food (talking business with a former boss-fingers crossed).

I promise I’ll venture out for some more Veggie meals in LA soon. Vegan Mofo is still fresh in my mind (Happy 4th Day!), and I’m compiling a list of places I hope to visit for the special vegan month of food. Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

M Cafe

Real Food Daily

le pain quotidien (Lynn wrote about the Avocado, Chickpea, Alfalfa Sprouts and Tahini Tartine and I am dying to try it)

Veggie Grill

Native Foods

-Do you have any LA vegan food suggestions? It doesn’t have to be vegan only, but vegan friendly would be lovely.

breakfast x 2 with tiny taters.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on October 7, 2010

Ever since my time-off work started I have been promising myself that I would be more creative with my morning eats. After all, breakfast is my meal of choice. Instead, I’ve been sticking with these:

While concocting my pumpkin with peach oats below this morning, I realized that pancakes, vegan french toast, and tofu scrambles would all be faster to make. But there is something about the ritual of oat-making while I sip my warm lemon water that soothes me. In my opinion, it takes less prep and thought than the others. I don’t have to measure flours, baking powder & soda, or cut veggies and measure spices. I do measure the oats, water, and almond milk, however, I simply splash in vanilla and shake in cinnamon. I spoon in flax or chia seeds at the beginning, but leave the toppings for the last 2-3 minutes. In that 20 minutes of free time between starting the oats and finishing them off, I read my favorite blogs and prepare coffee. It really is an ideal ritual, don’t you think? I know many of you share such warm wonderful ones as well.

My oats mixed summer and fall with both pumpkin and peaches, but the real star of the show was the roasted maple cinnamon almond butter made yesterday.

So, instead of switching up my breakfast in the morning, we had breakfast for dinner. It was this recipe for double dipped french toast made with cinnamon raisin ezekiel english muffins topped with pumpkin butter and maple syrup. I didn’t get the camera out to document because V and I were much too hungry and they take a little longer to cook than your average egg-y french toast. I’ve made them before with bread, but I preferred the english muffin version we had tonight.

Oh, but I must show you the delicious savory roasted tiny taters we had with our lunches today.

These tiny potatoes covered in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, and nutritional yeast had such a kick we swooned over.

After they roasted, we dipped them in organic dijon and ketchup.

The chickpea cutlets are no longer.

A simple salad for me. It is pretty self-explanatory: baby spinach, carrots, cucumber, chickpea cutlet, and balsamic vinaigrette. Some avocado was added as well.

For V, I made a hummus, daiya mozzarella, pesto, chickpea cutlet quesadilla on a brown rice tortilla.

Oh, how we loved it. I must try one for myself ASAP.

Tomorrow, I want to talk about running. It has been much too long since I’ve written about my love for the sport.

Other things:

-I listened to this debate by Anthony Bourdain and Jonathan Safran Foer today about whether we, as humans, should eat meat. I love both of these men and found it very interesting. Check it out.

-Do you have a favorite veggie chili recipe? I definitely am thinking something similar to this Butternut Squash & Black Bean Chili for tomorrow night.

getting back to it all

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, SHOPPING, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 30, 2010

It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.

This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.

First, I add one cup water  and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.

I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.

Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.

Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.

The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.

I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.

One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.

Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.

Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood”  on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.

Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.

Getting back to some savory eats…

Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.

On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.

Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.

This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.

Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…

My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.

Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.

autumnal mornings.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on September 26, 2010

Although I have been raving about all the fall produce making its way into farmer’s markets & grocery stores, I must admit the sadness that also comes when I can no longer find some of my favorite summer goods at the market. Of course it is partly my fault that I am holding onto my dear peaches, berries, and sungold tomatoes for fear of finishing them. You see, I didn’t manage to arrive at the farmer’s market on saturday until 15 minutes prior to closing. Fortunately, some stalls weren’t completely closed up and I still made it out with kale, cucumbers, zucchini, and raspberries. After circling a few times, I realized I missed the peaches and apples I was most eager to come home with.

The peaches from the week before are on their last leg, but I’ve been decreasing the quantity in each serving of steel or scottish oats each morning to keep savoring the summer flavor.

One day I made delicious coconut milk steel-cut oats with chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla topped with peaches and naturally nutty cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter. It has been a few months since I last ate the sweet, frosting-like nut butter, and I was reminded how wonderful it was.

Today, I woke up with ideas of raspberry and peach flecked scottish oats. These were cooked in the usual way, with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. The raw almond butter, one of my favorites, made it extra tasty.

Although our blueberries are now gone, I can’t forget my summer combo of choice, peach and blueberry topped oats. The only meal I often had time to prepare for work was this combination. Again, raw almond butter made an appearance on the cinnamon-vanilla-chia-almond milk steel-cut oats.

Although I had oats for breakfast hours before, I wanted to make V some pumpkin pancakes to celebrate the end of the movie he has been working on every week night since July.

When finding the trader joe’s pumpkin yesterday, I knew it was going to be a pancake day today. Isn’t that what sunday’s are for (and it just happens to be national pancake day) ?

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

1 cup spelt flour

1 t baking powder

2 T sucanat (or other sweetener)

1 t chia seeds (or flax)

1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

1 cup nut milk (I used a mix of almond and light coconut milk)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 banana, sliced (optional)

-Heat a large pan over medium heat.

-Mix flour, baking powder, sweetener, chia seeds, and spices.

-Add milk to well mixed dry ingredients.

-Stir in pumpkin and add optional nuts and banana slices.

-Coat pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup sized pancakes onto the warm surface. Cook 2-3 minutes each side.

-Serve warm topped with earth balance and maple syrup.

V ate the majority but I was able to steal one away for myself that I topped with some earth balance and real maple syrup. These were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Although cooked through, they were still soft in the middle from the pumpkin and the crunchy walnut flavor melded wonderfully.

I hope you enjoyed some of my recent breakfasts. The next post will be dedicated to the more savory dishes I’ve been eating.

Now, it is time to head out for an early dinner at my favorite nearby pub with local produce. Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend.

Other things:

I can’t wait to make this delicious sounding pizza hummus. Do you have a preferred spin on classic hummus flavors?

There is still close to 6 months until my next birthday, but I think I just found my next birthday cake recipe. Peanut butter and chocolate, yes please. What is your cake of choice? Instead of typical fluffy cake, I always opt for a more mousse like dessert with chocolate.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin? I think pancakes might just be mine. Yes, the muffins were truly great, but pancakes really do it for me.

so long summer

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 22, 2010

This blogging hiatus was never meant to last quite this long but instead of going on about the working days of my summer, instead I want to celebrate the new season. Autumn has always been my season of choice. The cross-country seasons of my life took over most of my Fall in high school and college, and I spent hours each week crunching the leaves as I ran miles on pavement, grass, woodchips, etc. Since my 16 hour day shooting days have come to an end (at least for the time being), I was surprised to realize summer had passed me by yet again. Previous summers have been like this, working in the extreme heat with no time to enjoy the sunshine by the beach. Yes, I am envious of my family and friends who got to do so, but now I am excited for a little life break right as autumn begins.

The perfect start to the season.

Pumpkin baked goods really do it for me. I am sure they do it for you too.

Instead of searching for a recipe I hadn’t previously tried, I stuck with a PPK recipe for cinnamon raisin quick bread I once made into muffins before. The only switches I made to the tasty recipe was swapping the applesauce with organic canned pumpkin and the apple juice with hot water. The hot water plumps up the raisins before mixing them into the thick bread batter. They turned out wonderfully.

Today I realized that the end of summer also means the end of peach season. I can’t tell you how much this saddens me. Peaches have made my painfully early mornings a little more enjoyable each day.

Yesterday I made scottish oats with almond milk, banana, cinnamon, and vanilla that I then topped with almond butter, peaches, and figs.

Todays oats were steel-cut cooked with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and banana topped with peaches, blueberries, and almond butter. I have four more farmer’s market peaches I picked up on the way to my last filming day on Saturday. I might cry when I finish the last one.

What fruit or vegetable are you sad to see diminishing with the end of the summer season?

What fruit or vegetable are you most excited about for fall?

I promise I won’t be gone so long this time.

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award-winning breakfasts.

Posted in ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on July 17, 2010

These past few mornings, I have still been eating my fair share of plated oats.

When W magazine arrived…I was pleasantly surprised to see the faces of two actors I adore on the cover. The photo spread and interview were pretty fun as well. I won’t deny it, I am such a Mad Men fan (it returns the 25th!) and Jon Hamm is pretty yummy. Recently I saw the film Please Give, with Rebecca Hall and was reminded about her beautiful acting. If you haven’t seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona with her, you must soon. Although the upcoming film, The Town, with these two together is a crime/drama/thriller (read: not my favorite kind of film), I can’t wait to see their chemistry on camera.

To get back to more important things…OATS. Two days this week I had plated steel cut oats with the peach/blueberry combo. I restocked my blueberries this morning for the upcoming week, but we will begin filming bright (or still dark) and early Monday, so please imagine similar breakfasts for the week ahead.

Sunflower butter is the perfect nut butter with peach-blueberry oats. Half a banana is always sliced in to the oats while cooking, as well as the usual chia, cinnamon, and vanilla mix-ins. This week I have been using unsweetened coconut milk but that soon will be replaced with almond milk.

The only other berries on hand are the frozen variety. I had frozen some of our farmer’s market raspberries and microwaved them with some banana and coconut butter to make a berry banana mash topping to pour on top of my scottish oats. It was great to have a compote type topping similar to this lovely lady’s.

Speaking of the lovely Jess of Healthy Exposures, she was recently given a Sugar Doll Blogger Award which she passed on to me! I feel so honored since her blog is one of my favorites. Even when extremely busy, I make sure to keep up with her posts. Not only is she a beautiful photographer, but her love of all things food and horse related is captivating.

The rules are as follows:

Tell 10 little known facts about yourself and then pass it on to 3-5 other bloggers!

It is always hard for me to come up with little quirks or interesting facts about myself, but V disagreed and helped me come up with a few you may enjoy. Jess started off with some childhood stories and I have quite a few myself, so here I go…

1. I was pretty much a terror as an older sister when young. My poor little sister was told many crazy things to be considered cool and in the same “group ” as my best friend and I. We would make her walk on the sidewalks for blocks on the way to school, when she was still so small she had to basically do the splits the entire way. Other ridiculous things I did involved pickles and underwear…it was bad. I still feel awful about it actually.

2. I was never considered athletic. While my sister was on every team growing up, I was the one who started and quit each sport. It wasn’t until middle school that I realized my runner abilities. My gym teacher had us run a mile and I beat the majority of the boys. Soon after, I ran my first road race and won for my age group. It was pretty exciting to realize that although I may not be good at any sports with balls, I can still be a competitive athlete.

3. Traveling internationally is something I have been doing since birth. My parents took me to France and England before my first birthday, and a few tropical places by the time I was 5. Since then I have traveled throughout Western Europe, where I spent the most amount of time in the Netherlands (studying) and Italy (with family for a summer). I would rather live in a small bungalow or apartment with character than an enormous home so that I could still afford to travel to my heart’s content.

4. I was afraid dogs until I had my own. Every summer on Martha’s Vineyard, I would run past a certain home when I heard their brown chocolate lab bark. I still am unsure of why I had this fear since I now adore all (most) animals and have the sweetest yellow lab.

5. I thank chocolate for helping me grow. I was tiny growing up, the smallest in each grade I was in. During high school, I had yet to reach the growth chart at the doctor’s office and they become worries (and therefore made my mother). Although my family is very petite, I was incredibly so. When we went to Italy one summer at the end of high school, I ate chocolate as much as possible. Throughout that time, I would eat nutella on bread, chocolate flavored gelato, and many different chocolate desserts at restaurants. When returning, I had grown considerably and was no longer the underweight little girl I was before.

6. I gave up peanut butter and jelly for years after throwing up a sandwich in first grade on my friend’s desk while playing the game “seven up.” It was rather disgusting and it took me years to re-embrace its deliciousness.

7. I also “hated carrots” for years. I thought they made my stomach hurt when eaten raw and refused many cooked carrots because I had no clue that roasted carrots could be so delicious. Now, I adore them in salads, raw with hummus, and roasted with other root veggies.

8. I painted my nails almost daily at the end of elementary and early middle school years. Something about moving to Laguna Beach, CA made me want to become some kind of valley girl. I was ultra girlie back then and even owned a shirt that said “As if.” Clueless and the Spice Girls movie made an impact. Let’s leave it at that.

9. I can’t stomach beer. I secretly wish I could like it because I find the brewing process and craft involving beer pretty interesting, but it just always makes me feel sick to my stomach. Instead, I sip on wine and the occasional vodka soda with lime and/or cranberry when I do drink. There were days when I drank much more (late high school/early college), but now I only do on the rare occasion socially. Maybe one day I will drink a glass a night like my grandmother, but now I am fine doing without.

10. I can’t burp and don’t remember ever doing so. My mother says she burped me as a baby, but since then I haven’t burped. People have tried making me down sodas, etc. but nothing works. This may be the reason why I can’t handle beer, who knows. Recently I learned that my dad doesn’t burp either. Kind of strange…

I hope these weren’t too bizarre for ya.

I am going to pass the award to three of you, but there are many others I love too of course!

Danielle at A Nourishing Glimpse

Amanda at Seek Myself

Katharina at Katharina’s Food Adventures

Can’t wait to hear some more fun facts about these wonderful women.

Now it is time to get our grill on for the first time. V is full of energy after filming until 7:30 a.m., which means that he got to sleep all of today. I am jealous of the sleeping all day part, but definitely not filming all night. Those are the worst, especially when your Monday call time is back to 5 a.m. Not much of a weekend, is it?!

Other things:

-Do you watch Mad Men? Love it/hate it? I wrote about my love for the show once back in the day when I started blogging (before taking almost a year off) and still am pretty into it. I do think the last season went a little downhill, but the wardrobe keeps me coming back…and Don Draper/Jon Hamm is just…yeah…

-Are you a beer drinker? I really wish I could enjoy it, but as I wrote above, it just doesn’t sit well with me. Sometimes I feel it makes me “such a girl” to say I can’t stomach it, but it is the truth.

-Some people asked about my camera in the last post’s comments and I was borrowing my dad’s Canon G11 for a few days. I had to return it and already miss its photo quality. It definitely shows that nicer camera’s ($$)  can take much better images than most digital’s. This gives me much more of an incentive to head out and purchase my own in the next month or so when I can.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Tomorrow will be about bananas and pizza. Stay tuned…